CARDINAL O'CONNOR CALLED TO THE FATHER'S HOUSE
New York, 4 (NE) Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York, was called yesterday
night to the Father's House. "His Eminence John Cardinal O'Connor has completed his earthly
journey and has gone home to God. The cardinal died May 3, 2000, at 8:05 p.m., in his
residence on Madison Avenue," said the statement read by the Archdiocese of New York
spokesman Joseph Zwilling, who announced the news of the Cardinal's death shortly after 10
Today at the Holy See, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, Holy See Press Office Director, said that "the
Holy Father is deeply saddened by the news of Cardinal O'Connor's death. Cardinal O'Connor
was an extraordinary figure in the Catholic Church in the United States. He was a truly faithful
shepherd and an outstanding witness to faith and human dignity. He performed his priestly duties
in the most passionate manner, always helping those in need. His presence will surely be
missed". Navarro-Valls also informed that the Holy Father has decided to send Cardinal Angelo
Sodano, Secretary of State, as a personal envoy to Cardinal O'Connor's funeral.
Cardinal O'Connor's health began to fail after he had a brain tumor removed in August last year.
He had been experiencing a growing weakness over the past month and a half. This weakness
caused the Cardinal to limit his public activities and appearances in early March, and to cease
other official archdiocesan acts in late March. In the official statement read by the Archdiocese,
it was informed that Cardinal O'Connor had received the sacrament of the sick last Saturday
and on several other occasions during his illness.
"One of the Cardinal's most passionate beliefs was that by uniting our suffering with the suffering
of Christ on the cross, we can be instruments of enormous good in the world,", said the
communique. "The Cardinal united his own illness and suffering of these past eight months with
the suffering of Christ, and always accepted the changes in his condition with great faith in God,
and in His mercy and gentle goodness."
Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor was born in Philadelphia, in January 1920. He entered St.
Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia at age 16 and was ordained nine years later. He
spent most of his religious life in military uniform, joining the Navy in 1952 in answer to a call for
more chaplains during the Korean War. After leaving the Navy in 1979, he was made an
Auxiliary Bishop and assigned to the military vicariate under Cardinal Terence Cooke of New
York. In May 1983 he was appointed Bishop of Scranton, and in 1984, he was named
Archbishop of New York. Pope John Paul made him Cardinal in May 1985.